The opinion of the court was delivered by: TERRENCE McVERRY, District Judge
A. The above-captioned class action litigation is pending in
this Court on behalf of a certified class of:
All persons who purchased the common stock and
publicly-traded call options of FreeMarkets, Inc.
("FreeMarkets") during the period July 24, 2000
through April 23, 2001 (the "Class Period"). Excluded
from the Class, however, are Glen T. Meakem and Joan
S. Hooper, the Individual Defendants, members of
their families, any entity in which any defendant is
trustee or has a controlling interest, and any of
their parents, subsidiaries, officers, directors,
affiliates, legal representatives, heirs
predecessors, successors, and assigns.
B. On August 3, 2004, Lead Plaintiffs, Elaine Gagnon and Dale
Lewis, acting on behalf of themselves and the Class, entered into
a Stipulation and Agreement of Stipulation (the "Stipulation")
with Defendants in this matter.
C. Pursuant to the Preliminary Order in Connection with
Settlement Proceedings, dated August 16, 2005 (the "Preliminary
Approval Order"), the Court scheduled a hearing for October 28,
2005 at 9:30 a.m. (the "Settlement Hearing") to determine: (a)
whether the proposed Settlement of the claims in this matter
against Defendants on the terms and conditions provided for in
the Stipulation is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be
approved by the Court; (b) whether the claims against Defendants
should be dismissed with prejudice as set forth in the
Stipulation; (c) whether the proposed Plan of Allocation is fair,
reasonable, and adequate and should be approved; and (d) whether
the application by Lead Counsel for an award of attorney fees and reimbursement of
litigation expenses and costs should be approved.
D. The Court further ordered that Plaintiffs' Counsel have
caused a Notice of Pendency of Class Action, Proposed Settlement,
Settlement Fairness Hearing, and Right to Share in the Settlement
Fund (the "Notice"), be mailed by first-class mail, postage
prepaid, to all Class Members at the address of each such person
or entity as set forth in the records of the transfer agent for
FreeMarkets, Inc. ("FreeMarkets"), or who otherwise could be
identified through reasonable effort, and that a Summary Notice
of the proposed Settlement (the "Publication Notice"), be
published in the Investors Business Daily, within ten (10) days
of the mailing of the Notice.
E. The Notice and the Publication Notice advised Class Members
of the date, time, place and purpose of the Settlement Hearing.
The Notice further advised that any objections to the Settlement,
the Plan of Allocation or the application for attorney fees and
reimbursement of expenses were required to be filed with the
Court by October 8, 2005.
F. The Notice and the Publication Notice also advised Class
Members of their right to request exclusion from the Class by
sending a written request for exclusion from the Class to the
Claims Administrator, Strategic Claims Services.
G. The Affidavit of Paul Mullholland, CPA, CVA, President of
Strategic Claims Services, attesting to the mailing of the Notice
and the publishing of the Publication Notice was filed with the
Court on October 14, 2005.
H. On October 14, 2005, Lead Plaintiffs moved for final
approval of the Settlement as set forth in the Stipulation and
the Plan of Allocation of the Settlement Fund as set forth in the Notice. Counsel for Plaintiffs also filed a
Motion for An Award of Attorneys' Fees and Reimbursement Of
Expenses. Plaintiffs' counsel requests attorneys fees in the
amount of $1,020,000, which represents thirty percent (30%) of
the $3,400,000 Settlement Fund. Plaintiffs' counsel also requests
reimbursement of expenses in the amount of $56,110.21.00.
I. The Settlement Hearing was duly held before this Court on
October 28, 2005, at which time all interested persons and
entities were afforded the opportunity to be heard.
J. No objections were filed and no one appeared at the hearing
on October 28, 2005, to voice objection to the proposed
settlement. Further, no requests for exclusion from the Class
K. At the hearing, Plaintiffs' counsel noted that the funds for
the settlement have already been paid into an interest bearing
L. This Court has considered the arguments of counsel, the
documents described above, all other pleadings, papers and
submissions presented with respect to the proposed Settlement and
award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses, and has
held a hearing ...